Past Projects

Black/visible minority ethnic grassroots-based activism in Scotland: a case study of one Edinburgh based community project

Lead: Dr Rowena Arshad and Dr Akwugo Emejulu, CERES Co-Directors, University of Edinburgh

Funder: Moray House Research and Knowledge Exchange Office

This small-scale research project examines the role of black activism as represented in the recently closed grassroots agency Community Organisation for Racial Equality (CORE). CORE was a black–led anti-racist project based in one of the poorest neighbourhoods in Edinburgh, Pilton. CORE, in spite of being a community-based organisation, appeared to have a disproportionate impact on the politics and policy-making of anti-racism at the local and national levels in Scotland. The surprising and unfortunate nature of its closure presents an important opportunity to explore the changing nature of anti-racist activism in Scotland from CORE’s inception in the 1980s to its closure in 2012.  Furthermore, at CORE’s final annual general meeting before its closure, the chair of its board called for an analysis of the role community activism had played in founding the organisation and how activism might shape the next chapter of anti-racist work in Edinburgh.

Trying to understand the history of anti-racist activism in Scotland as represented and constituted by CORE will be crucial for preserving the history of a struggle that was oftentimes on the margins of Scottish politics but that nonetheless had an important impact on the life chances and dignity of minority ethnic people in Edinburgh.

This small study will involve six two-hour interviews with key activists connected to CORE and a literature review and archival research about anti-racist activism in Scotland from 1980 to 2012.

The project ran from November 2012 – June 2013

A Comparison of Bilingual and Monolingual Literacy Development in Primary Schools in Scotland

Lead: Dr Andy Hancock, CERES CO-Director, University of Edinburgh

Funder: Moray House Research and Knowledge Exchange Office

Andy Hancock has received funding to conduct a pilot study to examine the academic language proficiency (reading and writing for academic purposes) of Chinese children with English as an additional language (EAL) compared to monolingual speakers of English in primary schools in Scotland. This will be done in collaboration with Professor Xiaolan Curdt-Christiansen and Dr. Guangwei Hu of Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) and Professor Richard Anderson, Director of the Centre for the Study of Reading  at the University of Illinois (USA). The study offers potential to develop further relationships and research bids with the two institutions and Beijing Normal University (China).

This project ran from 2012 – 2013


Attracting International Students: Equitable Services and Support, Campus Cohesion and Community Engagement (April – December 2011)

Lead: Dr. Rowena Arshad & Kristina Konstantoni (CERES), Dr Philomena de Lima, Director of the Centre for Remote and Rural Studies, University of Highlands and Islands,  Johanna Holtan, Internationalisation Office, Edinburgh University Student Association

Funder: The Equality Challenge Unit

The overall aim of this project was to gain views on how higher education institutions in Scotland could further enhance the international student experience within their campuses.  The project had four inter-related themes:

  • Theme 1: Equity of support and professional services to domestic and international students
  • Theme 2: Relationship between domestic and international students
  • Theme 3: Relationship between local host communities and international students
  • Theme 4: Relationship of higher education institutions with their local minority communities.

Promoting cohesion, challenging expectations: educating the teachers of tomorrow for race equality and diversity in 21st century schools. (2010-2011)

Lead:  Dr Rowena Arshad with Laura Mitchell

Funder:  ESCalate, HEAcademy

Research collaboration with Dr Peter Hick, Dr Lorna Roberts Manchester Metropolitan University

Download the Final Report

Poverty and Ethnicity in Scotland: scoping study (2010-2011)
Research collaboration with Dr Philomena de Lima and the Centre for Research in Rural Studies, University of Highlands and Islands

Lead:  Dr Rowena Arshad

Funder: Joseph Rowntree Trust

Download full report

Migrant Women in Public Spaces: Institutions, Policies and Politics (2011-2012)

Lead:  Dr Akwugo Emejulu

Funder: CERES funded research

In this cross-national comparative research project, we investigated how migrant women experience the welfare state in the UK and France. Through in-depth interviews and policy analysis, we explored how migrant women encountered and were shaped by the state and the processes by which women’s social justice claims are recognised  by institutional actors.

Teacher Education Student’s Understanding of Social Justice issues (2008-2012)

Lead:  Dr Rowena Arshad in conjunction with Laura Mitchell

Funder: CERES funded research

A four year project to explore whether time spent within initial teacher education programmes have assisted students to understand the complexities of social justice issues within the school and classroom context. The objective was to draw from student’s experiences with a view to enhance programme delivery on matters related to social justice. The study tracked the progress in experience and thinking on social justice matters of 12 students from the four year BEd (Primary) and 12 from (BEd Physical Education). The study commenced in 2008 and concluded in 2012. In addition, the study also conducted an initial online survey of the 2008-9 BEd and PGDE (Primary and Secondary) and these responses formed part of the analysis framework.

ESRC Seminar series
CERES is part of a group of academics who were awarded monies for running a series of seminars on the theme of ‘Diverse Teachers for Diverse Learners: Research and Perspectives’. The principal applicant is Dr Geri Smyth, University of Strathclyde. Co-applicants include Dr Rowena Arshad (CERES, University of Edinburgh), Professor Angela Creese (University of Birmingham), Dr Ghazala Bhatti (University of Southampton), Professor Ian Menter (University of Glasgow) and Ian Matheson (General Teaching Council Scotland).

This seminar series explored diversity in the teaching profession in relation to ethnicity, language, social class and culture alongside other significant dimensions of difference including gender, sexual orientation and, disability. The seminar organised by CERES and the GTCS was held in Edinburgh on 1st October 2011.

ESRC Seminar Series

Report on the Findings of an Equality Challenge Unit

CERES hosted a half-day conference to present findings of an Equality Challenge Unit research into enhancing the international student experience through improving equality in service provision within higher education institutions.

For more information click here